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U.S. Pastors Now Eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Prior to July 2021, most pastors did not qualify for the U.S. Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Formerly, pastors could not count the hours they spent in "religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing" toward their full-time work requirement (at least 30 hours/week).

This restriction was removed in July of 2021, making more pastors qualified for the PSLF program. According to the Federal Student Aid website:

"For PSLF, you’re generally considered to work full-time if you meet your employer’s definition of full-time or work at least 30 hours per week, whichever is greater. If you are employed in more than one qualifying part-time job at the same time, you will be considered full-time if you work a combined average of at least 30 hours per week with your employers. If you are employed by a not-for-profit organization, time spent on religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing as a part of your job responsibilities may be counted toward meeting the full-time employment requirement." [emphasis added]

In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Education also announced a limited time waiver (through October 31, 2022) where participants in the PSLF program may count loan payments they made made before entering the PSLF program toward the 120 loan payments required for forgiveness.

For more details about this student loan forgiveness program and the limited time waiver go to

You may also watch a free webinar called Savvy Student Loan Management, produced by the ABHMS, which gives a great introduction to utilizing the PSLF program.

Click here for more resources on repaying student loans.